PhD Student Wins SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellowship
Ana Veroneze Solórzano, PhD’26, computer engineering, is immersed in the study of high-performance computing (HPC), with a focus on issues of security and performance analysis. She was recently recognized with the 2022 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing (SIGHPC) Computational and Data Science Fellowship. It is a highly competitive international fellowship given to early-career graduate students who demonstrate excellence in both academic achievement and community leadership. The fellowship has a focus on increasing diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in computational science and data science.
In addition to her academics, Solórzano has a passion for using computer science to advance the common good. A native of Porto Alegre, Brazil, she has always aspired to help people in creative ways. Her undergraduate experiences, including teaching computer science fundamentals to K-12 students, made her realize that building digital tools and solutions could assist people in reaching their goals. “It helped me see that we don’t just have to be users of technology, but we can create it,” she says.
While pursuing her master’s degree at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Solórzano co-chaired a workshop on performance analysis at one of the biggest annual symposia on high-performance parallel and distributed computing, hosted by ACM. This is where she met Devesh Tiwari, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, who encouraged her to join him at Northeastern.
Now in the second year of her PhD program, with Tiwari as her advisor, Solórzano is concentrating on confidential computing, finding ways to make HPC systems, a crucial part of sensitive areas like medical, energy, and military research, safe and secure. This is especially important given that complex and expensive HPC systems are often operated by third parties and shared among many users.
Solórzano is interested in performance analysis as well, which involves using tools to monitor a computing system’s inputs and outputs for errors and bottlenecks that can degrade its efficiency and accuracy. Particularly in an HPC environment, she sees this work as an impactful continuation of her longstanding ambition to help people succeed in their own ways.
“When we improve performance, running an application faster than it was running before, research can advance faster,” she explains. “That’s why I like the field—it opens the space for more scientific advancement.”
Devoted to helping others succeed in the computing field, in 2019 Solórzano co-founded Brazilians in Tech, a nonprofit organization focused on bringing more women into STEM careers. Today, she remains involved in leading their marketing and advertising efforts. The group was recognized last year by the AnitaB.org Institute with a Pass It On award, which helps fund women in computing or projects that inspire and support girls and women to enter computing.
“Bringing more diversity to technology brings new ideas, more creative ideas,” Solórzano explains. “We can make solutions that will be suitable for everyone.”